Their brand new album ‘Clear Shot’ came out on Friday, we were super excited for it and it definitely did not disappoint. So naturally, we jumped at the opportunity to have a chat with the lads about the inspirations for it, original visions, their upcoming tour and more!
New album ‘Clear Shot’ is out now, how have you felt the reaction has been so far? Has it matched expectations?
We’ve generally had a positive reaction from the people that matter most to us, some people will always be disappointed if an album’s too much of a departure or doesn’t repeat the formula of the previous stuff, but most of the feedback so far has been really great.
You’ve said that artists such as Psychic TV and Bernard Hermann inspired the new album, can you tell us a bit more as to how?
Psychic TV we’re all fans of, We like the idea of a pop sensibility with a somewhat dark edge. It was the four to the floor kick drum from ‘Godstar’ that partly inspired the rhythm of I’m Still Believing which is kind of Godstar meets Eight Miles High for me, drums-wise. Tom and Panda were watching a lot of Hitchcock films like Spellbound and Vertigo, and it was the feel of some of Bernard Hermann’s scores that informed a couple of the tracks, notably The Spirits Don’t Lie. There’s a track on the EP called Spellbound as well which takes its name from the film.
The new album is like a psychedelic, cinematic piece of art, would you say this is what you were going for? What kind of vision did you have when you first began the process?
We definitely wanted to stretch out a bit more, incorporate influences and elements we hadn’t really tried before, like some of the more expansive cinematic stuff. We’ve always taken inspiration from Morricone and Leone, (the synth line in Colour’s Running Out was pure spaghetti western!) but we thought maybe it’d be nice to have a bit of space in some of the music, to not fill every single gap with numerous overdubs. Which
I think we achieved quite well. There’s definitely a cleaner breezier feel to some of the tracks, which isn’t to say we’ve completely forsaken the experimental side of things, there are still a few tape loops and weird sounds in there.
You’re about to set off on tour in November, how are you all feeling about this?
I think we’re all eager to get out on the road, we haven’t been on tour for about 2 years. I was looking at the super 8 footage of the first European tour we did the other day and remembered how much fun it all was. For me, the best part of being in a band is going out and playing to new people in new places, and having a good old knees up while you’re doing it.
Have you got anything special planned for the shows?
We’re going to get our hands on some powerful strobe lights so expect a bombardment of the senses.
You have four different support acts across the various dates, are you personal fans of these bands?
Yes, they’re all friends of ours who are doing great things, it’ll be a lot of fun.
The video for ‘I’m Still Believing’ is pretty funky, did you have a lot of input into its creation?
It was mostly the director Bunny Kinney’s idea, he’s been a good mate of ours for years and does things with Vice magazine and i-D. He wanted the video to have the effect of an old Vhs that’d been recorded over hundreds of times with bizarre bits of found footage. Some of the shots of us were done on a VHS camera then the tape was physically tampered with to give it a peculiar effect. It’s funny how it used to be incredibly annoying when your favourite video had a kink in it or got chewed up by the VCR, now it’s seen as art! Anyway, it was a fun experience.
Have you got any more plans for videos in the pipeline?
Yes, we’ve just started on the next one which involves us prancing around in a forest, I can’t give too much more away than that.
After this tour, what’s next for Toy?
Hopefully a year of touring and festivals at home and overseas, there are a lot of places we’ve never been to which we’d love to go and play – Central and South America would be amazing. We’ve got Max now who’s a good ambassador for all things Argentinian, hopefully, we’ll get a chance to play in Buenos Aires soon. In our downtime, we’re going to start writing and demoing the next album which we want to record as soon as possible. We won’t leave quite so much of a gap this time!
Catch TOY at the following shows:
18 Bristol The Exchange
19 Brighton The Haunt
20 Southampton Engine Room
22 Birmingham Rainbow Rooms
23 Glasgow King Tuts
24 Liverpool Magnet
25 Newcastle Riverside
26 Leeds Wardrobe
28 Nottingham Rock City Basement
29 Norwich Waterfront
30 London Brixton Electric